Scientist invents own brewery
A Cromwell scientist who has been brewing up concoctions in his spare time is about to turn his ‘‘labour of love’’ into a business.
Claude Midgley, 37, is opening a Cromwell taproom, featuring his Seahorse Brewery beers, out of disused space at Wine Solutions, a business neighbouring his consulting firm on Pinot Noir Drive.
‘‘Luckily our neighbours are awesome and they have a space with an off-licence existing already they don’t really use. They have a lovely little space set up. Their aim was to have a pub there eventually and this will be the first step in getting to that.
‘‘We will have the taproom operating, then by spring or summer they are working to get onlicence so people can come in and have a pint or a glass of wine, but for now you will be able to buy bottles of beer or fill up riggers which will minimise waste.’’
Midgley, an ecological scientist, and his geotech engineer wife moved to Cromwell last year from Christchurch where they had moved from Auckland to help with the earthquake rebuild.
‘‘Coming to Cromwell gave us the opportunity to start our own consultancy with the land development side of things, but we have free time and space. We decided we would have a go set- ting up a small brewery.
‘‘I noticed the proliferation of small breweries and taprooms in Christchurch and Oamaru, Dunedin, even Wanaka. There has been a few new ones starting up around Central Otago - mostly in Wanaka, but I thought Cromwell could do with one as well.’’
After months of up-cycling brewing equipment, converting extra office space into a labora- tory for perfecting beer recipes - he is ready to sell his product to the public.
‘‘We are very happy. This has been the longest labour of love to try and get to this point to sell beer to the public in Cromwell. We have had a customers licence for a few months now and have been selling to Christchurch, Queenstown, Wanaka and Dunedin in kegs, and we have just had first pellet of small bottles delivered. The beers have been coming out great. I want to find a recipe that covers a broader range for the beer drinking public.’’
The couple had combined their love of the sea and horses to come up with the name Seahorse Brewery, he said.
The taproom will have its official opening at Wine Solutions on Friday at 4pm.
Seahorse Brewery owner and brewer Claude Midgley, of Cromwell.